Government incentives push electric car sales to record high in Germany

Volkswagen's ID4, the brand's first electric SUV, on show in Saxony, Dresden, Germany, on 23 September. Photo: Robert Michael/Picture Alliance via Getty
Volkswagen’s ID4, the brand’s first electric SUV, on show in Saxony, Dresden, Germany, on 23 September. Photo: Robert Michael/Picture Alliance via Getty

The shift to electric cars is gaining momentum in Germany, thanks in large part to government-backed incentives that are encouraging buyers to make the switch to electric and hybrid vehicles.

Figures published by Germany’s Federal Motor Transport Authority on Monday show registrations of new all-electric vehicles (BEVs) have risen by 260% in September, from the same month in 2019, to 21,188. These now account for an 8% share of the overall car market.

Hybrids make up just over 20% of the passenger-car market, with registrations up 185% last month from the previous September.

As part of its coronavirus stimulus package, the German government decided not to fund discounts on fossil-fuel cars or back a cash-for-clunkers scheme, but rather to support the switch to clean mobility by doubling subsidies

Read More

Germany mulls law to fight labour abuses abroad

When German carmakers seek cobalt from Congolese mines or when a chocolatier sources cocoa beans from Ghana, they may soon no longer be able to hide behind their suppliers if it turns out that the producers are using child labour or flouting environmental standards.

Under a new law proposed by the labour and development ministries, companies above a certain size will have to meet social and environmental rules all along their production chains.

The mooted law was spurred on by a deadly fire in a textile factory in Pakistan and a devastating dam collapse at a Brazilian iron ore mine that killed more than 250 people — both of which had links to German companies.

Three in four Germans back the proposals, and even major employers like car giants BMW and Daimler and coffee chain Tchibo are on board.

But industry is divided over the plan, with opponents arguing that

Read More

Germany Dilutes EU Rule-of-Law Plans With Virus Aid at Risk

(Bloomberg) — Germany proposed watering-down the conditions tying European Union funding to respect for the rule of law in what’s widely seen as a bid to reach a compromise to unlock the bloc’s landmark 750 billion-euro ($875 million) coronavirus recovery fund.



a man wearing a suit and tie: LEDNICE, CZECH REPUBLIC - JUNE 11: Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban wearing facemask pose for photographers during for the Visegrad Group (V4) summit at Lednice Chateau on June 11, 2020 in Lednice, Czech Republic. The Visegrad Group (V4), which includes the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia, met for the first time since the coronavirus outbreak caused many countries across Europe to close their borders and restrict international travel. (Photo by Gabriel Kuchta/Getty Images)


© Photographer: Stringer/Getty Images Europe
LEDNICE, CZECH REPUBLIC – JUNE 11: Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban wearing facemask pose for photographers during for the Visegrad Group (V4) summit at Lednice Chateau on June 11, 2020 in Lednice, Czech Republic. The Visegrad Group (V4), which includes the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia, met for the first time since the coronavirus outbreak caused many countries across Europe to close their borders and restrict international travel. (Photo by Gabriel Kuchta/Getty Images)

Germany, which holds the rotating presidency of the EU, proposed a mechanism that could suspend payments to member states that are in breach of democratic values while making it harder

Read More

EXCLUSIVE-EU chair Germany proposes rule of law scheme for getting bloc’s cash – document

BRUSSELS, Sept 28 (Reuters) – European Union chair Germany has proposed a rule of law conditionality scheme for accessing the bloc’s funds, including the new 750 billion euro coronavirus economic recovery fund, according to a document seen by Reuters.

The proposal is a basis for negotiations between the 27 EU member states – which in July agreed to such a mechanism but left it watered down to avoid a veto from Poland or Hungary – and the European Parliament.

EU lawmakers want to beef up the mechanism, meaning that the German proposal – sticking closely to the July agreement reached at a leaders’ summit after four days of tortuous talks – is all but certain to cause an outcry.

According to the German document, punishments for rule of law breaches would include suspending EU funding and be decided by a majority vote of EU member states acting on a recommendation

Read More

EU chair Germany proposes rule of law scheme for getting bloc’s cash

By Gabriela Baczynska

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Germany, current president of the European Union, has proposed a scheme that links access to European Union money, including the 750 billion euro recovery fund, to respecting the rule of law, a document seen by Reuters showed on Monday.

The proposal will underpin negotiations between the European Parliament and the 27 EU governments, which in July agreed to such a mechanism in principle but left out much detail to avoid a veto from Poland or Hungary, whose nationalist governments stand accused of flouting EU democratic norms.

Warsaw and Budapest are under EU investigations for undermining the independence of the judiciary, media and non-governmental organisations, and both could lose tens of billions of euros in funding if the rule of law mechanism is established.

In the recovery fund alone, excluding the linked long-term EU budget for 2021-27, Poland would be at risk of losing access

Read More

Exclusive: EU Chair Germany Proposes Rule of Law Scheme for Getting Bloc’s Cash – Document | World News

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – European Union chair Germany has proposed a rule of law conditionality scheme for accessing the bloc’s funds, including the new 750 billion euro coronavirus economic recovery fund, according to a document seen by Reuters.

The proposal is a basis for negotiations between the 27 EU member states – which in July agreed to such a mechanism but left it watered down to avoid a veto from Poland or Hungary – and the European Parliament.

EU lawmakers want to beef up the mechanism, meaning that the German proposal – sticking closely to the July agreement reached at a leaders’ summit after four days of tortuous talks – is all but certain to cause an outcry.

According to the German document, punishments for rule of law breaches would include suspending EU funding and be decided by a majority vote of EU member states acting on a recommendation by the

Read More